“Riccardo Barilla” Historical Museum of the “Arrigo Boito” Conservatory- Parma

The “Riccardo Barilla” Historical Museum of the “Arrigo Boito” Conservatory draws together donations from the musicians who studied and/or taught there. The museum is an important example of Italian musical culture, and it documents – through a series of bibliographical and archival documents, visual art pieces, musical instruments, and museum objects – the local, national, and international aspects of the teaching of music and the activities of musicians born or active in Parma from the second half of the 19th century until the present.

The museum includes the “Arrigo Boito” and “Arturo Toscanini” studios, a collection of musical instruments, a photographic archive, and other donations.

The relatively small yet characteristic collection of musical instruments features items donated by musicians or purchased by the Institute for its students. Particularly noteworthy are four ancient instruments donated by Count Stefano Sanvitale, an 1804 Erard fortepiano, several woodwind instruments, a Maggini double bass, a 18th century Venetian made double bass, and a chromatic harp. A 16th century organ by Claudio Merulo is on display in the Merulo Hall.

The photographic archive comprises photographs bequeathed by various  people, including Campanini, Sanvitale, Usiglio, Boito, and Toscanini. The collection includes a series of portraits of the Conservatory’s students donated by Giusto Dacci, the director of the Royal School of Music (1875-1888).

The “other donations” section (Campanini, Sacconi, Franzoni, and others) comprise non-book material received by the Conservatory: stage costumes, medals, paintings, diplomas, scrapbooks of reviews, and the cutting punches used by the Tovagliari publishing house to print music.

Although not all sections currently have fully finished exhibits, they can nevertheless be consulted upon request.